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GPS and Navigation - US - December 2009

This report explores the automotive GPS and navigation systems in the U.S. It provides insight into the external and internal factors affecting sales, consumption and trends, and what they mean for future sales, promotional campaigns, and industry innovations. Specific questions answered in this report include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • How are GPS operators streamlining their product design and features to appeal to consumers inside their cars?
  • How are partnerships with mobile phone service providers and other technology companies changing the way consumers interact with navigation systems in their vehicles?
  • What segments of the automotive GPS market appeal the most to consumers?
  • What companies are innovating their segments, and how can others learn from their success?
  • How will telematics systems create new marketing opportunities to interact with consumers within their vehicles?
  • How are increasing safety concerns regarding in-car distractions affecting this market?
  • How are GPS manufacturers pursuing the smart phone as a viable way to drive up the use for their services?
  • How are automakers using telematics systems to sell new vehicles to hesitant consumers?


This report provides an in-depth examination of the automotive GPS and navigation systems for industry retailers, distributors and marketers interested in pursuing opportunities to innovate trends within segments and to evaluate the competition. Analysis covers three segments: portable GPS, aftermarket GPS, OEM telematics systems and OEM subscription-based telematics systems.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Consumer survey data
            • Advertising creative
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                    • GPS, navigation systems segmented by OEM, subscription, portability
                      • Portable GPS threatened by price drops of in-dash systems
                        • Carmakers adding entertainment components into single delivery systems
                          • OnStar leading subscription-based telematics system, offered by GM
                            • Partnerships between service providers helping innovate in-car systems
                              • Telematics turning cars into data mines, posing new revenue opportunities
                                • Consumer survey findings
                                • Insights and Opportunities

                                  • Provide voice commands to interact with navigation systems
                                    • Dealerships can follow Apple stores by providing downloadable apps
                                      • Mobile television launch shows possibilities in advertising inside cars
                                        • Expand navigation systems to allow users to track items stored in vehicle
                                        • Inspire Insights

                                            • Trend I: Rise of the “Screenager”
                                              • A generation shows a heightened comfort level in front of a screen
                                                • Play is central to generation brought up with video, mobile screens
                                                  • Re-examining GPS navigation as less of a novelty, more of a right
                                                    • Trend II: Instant Gratification?
                                                      • No end in sight for the 24/7, on-demand society
                                                      • Segment Performance

                                                        • GPS, navigation systems segmented by OEM, subscription, portability
                                                        • Portable GPS

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Portable GPS systems most affordable, require little installation
                                                              • Portable GPS threatened by price drops of in-dash systems
                                                              • OEM or Aftermarket In-Dash GPS

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • In-dash GPS units are priced higher than portable, but are declining in price
                                                                    • In-dash systems integrate with multiple media platforms, devices
                                                                      • In-dash and portable GPS sales estimated to drop 25% in 2009
                                                                        • Figure 1: U.S. sales to CE dealers of portable and in-dash GPS, at current prices, 2004-09
                                                                        • Figure 2: U.S. sales to CE dealers of portable and in-dash GPS, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2004-09
                                                                    • OEM Telematics Systems

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • Carmakers putting entertainment components into single delivery systems
                                                                          • Chrysler Uconnect
                                                                            • Ford Sync
                                                                            • Subscription-Based Telematics Systems

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • OnStar leading subscription-based telematics system, offered by GM
                                                                                  • GM in talks to possibly expand OnStar to competing automakers
                                                                                    • Mercedes-Benz mbrace
                                                                                      • BMW Assist
                                                                                        • Safety Connect and Lexus Enform
                                                                                        • Competitive Context

                                                                                          • Smart phone GPS and mapping
                                                                                            • Figure 3: Smart phone GPS usage, by age, September 2009
                                                                                        • Market Drivers

                                                                                          • Partnerships between service providers helping innovate in-car systems
                                                                                            • Telematics turning cars into data mines, posing new revenue opportunities
                                                                                              • National, state and local legislation threatening use of in-car electronics
                                                                                                • New car unit sales declining, potentially affecting OEM sales, installation
                                                                                                    • Figure 4: Total U.S. car unit sales, 2003-08
                                                                                                    • Figure 5: U.S. unit sales of light vehicles, January-June 2008 and 2009
                                                                                                • Innovation and Innovators

                                                                                                  • Tiwi tracks vehicles to allow owners to remotely track performance
                                                                                                    • GPS systems allow drivers to track local gas prices, monitor fuel usage
                                                                                                      • Smart phone applications allow drivers to interact with navigation systems
                                                                                                        • Technology assists, monitors driver behavior through cameras, sensors
                                                                                                        • Brand Qualities

                                                                                                          • Nüvifone G60 integrates smart phone technology with in-vehicle GPS
                                                                                                            • Toyota’s FollowMe navigation systems blends in-dash with portable
                                                                                                            • Advertising and Promotion

                                                                                                              • Overview
                                                                                                                • Affordability becomes message that resonates for first-time buyers
                                                                                                                    • Figure 6: TomTom ad, 2009
                                                                                                                    • Figure 7: TomTom ad, 2009
                                                                                                                  • Emphasizing navigation simplicity ensures consumer
                                                                                                                    • Figure 8: Raven Cruizer ad, 2009
                                                                                                                    • Figure 9: Magellan GPS ad, 2009
                                                                                                                  • Nüvifone’s three-in-one services shown seamlessly woven together
                                                                                                                    • Figure 10: Garmin Nuvifone GPS ad, 2009
                                                                                                                • Type of GPS/Navigation System Owned

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                    • Majority of respondents do not use GPS
                                                                                                                      • Figure 11: Types of GPS used, by gender, September 2009
                                                                                                                    • Those aged 25-34 most likely to use GPS, navigation technology in car
                                                                                                                      • Figure 12: Types of GPS used, by age, September 2009
                                                                                                                    • Wealthier respondents most likely to own; portable systems more inclusive
                                                                                                                      • Figure 13: Types of GPS used, by household income, September 2009
                                                                                                                  • Vehicle Type Installed with GPS/Navigation System

                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                      • GPS users most likely to use the technology in mid-size cars, SUVs
                                                                                                                        • Figure 14: Vehicle type installed with GPS/navigation system, by gender, September 2009
                                                                                                                      • Those aged 18-24 use GPS most in small cars; older respondents in SUVs
                                                                                                                          • Figure 15: Vehicle type installed with GPS/navigation system, by age, September 2009
                                                                                                                        • Wealthiest households most likely to use GPS technology in their SUVs
                                                                                                                          • Figure 16: Vehicle type installed with GPS/navigation system, by household income, September 2009
                                                                                                                      • GPS/Navigation System Features—Use and Frequency of Use

                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                          • Driving directions most used by respondents, detour routing second
                                                                                                                            • Figure 17: GPS/navigation system features used, by gender, September 2009
                                                                                                                          • Frequency of use shows navigation primarily used over all components
                                                                                                                            • Figure 18: GPS/navigation system features used most often, by gender, September 2009
                                                                                                                          • Besides navigation, younger age groups use system components more
                                                                                                                            • Figure 19: GPS/navigation system features used, by age, September 2009
                                                                                                                          • Driving directions appeal most to lower household income groups
                                                                                                                            • Figure 20: GPS/navigation system features used, by household income, September 2009
                                                                                                                        • GPS/Navigation System Features—Incident of Use

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • Majority of in-car features used most during road trips
                                                                                                                              • Figure 21: GPS/navigation system features used by incident, September 2009
                                                                                                                          • Consumer Spend on Aftermarket GPS

                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                              • 41% of respondents using GPS in cars spent $200 or less on their systems
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 22: GPS/navigation system spend, by gender, September 2009
                                                                                                                                • Youngest respondents most likely to purchase least expensive units
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 23: GPS/navigation system spend, by age, September 2009
                                                                                                                                  • Majority of least wealthy households tend to spend less than $200 on GPS
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 24: GPS/navigation system spend, by household income, September 2009
                                                                                                                                  • GPS/Navigation Systems—Brand Preference

                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                      • Garmin ranks as leading choice of nearly half of survey respondents
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 25: GPS brand preference, by gender, September 2009
                                                                                                                                      • Garmin most desired from respondents when they reach middle age, higher
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 26: GPS brand preference, by age, September 2009
                                                                                                                                      • Middle income range is where Garmin, TomTom products purchased most
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 27: GPS brand preference, by household income, September 2009
                                                                                                                                    • GPS/Navigation Systems—Consumer Satisfaction

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • GPS functionality, clarity, satisfies consumers most; features the least
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 28: GPS satisfaction, by gender, September 2009
                                                                                                                                          • Younger respondents more satisfied with functionality than those over 35
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 29: GPS satisfaction, by age, September 2009
                                                                                                                                            • Satisfaction over price may be more about value than about price point
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 30: GPS satisfaction, by household income, September 2009
                                                                                                                                            • Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                • Asians most likely to own, access GPS technology while driving
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 31: GPS/navigation ownership, by race and hispanic origin, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                • Hispanics using GPS/navigation in smaller, more economic vehicles
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Vehicle type installed with GPS/navigation system, by race and hispanic origin, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                • Multimedia use via GPS/navigation systems highest with blacks, Hispanics
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 33: GPS/navigation system features used, by race and hispanic origin, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                • Frequency of use of GPS/navigation features is not as high as general use
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 34: GPS/navigation system features used most often, by race and hispanic origin, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Hispanics less likely than whites to purchase most affordable GPS device
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 35: GPS/navigation system spend, by race and hispanic origin, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Excepting specialized brands, Hispanics purchase top brands at lower rates
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 36: GPS brand preference, by race and hispanic origin, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • More than half of black, Hispanic respondents satisfied with versatility of GPS
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 37: GPS satisfaction, by race and Hispanic origin, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                                                    • Portables
                                                                                                                                                      • Dabblers
                                                                                                                                                        • Interfacers
                                                                                                                                                          • Cluster characteristics
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 38: GPS and telematics clusters, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Type of GPS/navigation system used, by GPS and telematics clusters, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 40: Features used on GPS/navigation systems, by GPS and telematics system clusters, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Frequency of GPS/navigation system used, by GPS and telematics system clusters, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Satisfaction of GPS/navigation system used, by GPS and telematics system clusters, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                          • Cluster demographics
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 43: GPS and telematics system clusters, by gender, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 44: GPS and telematics system clusters, by age group, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 45: GPS and telematics system clusters, by household income group, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 46: GPS and telematics system clusters, by race, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 47: GPS and telematics system clusters, by Hispanic origin, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                          • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix: Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                            • Frequency of use of GPS/navigation system features and age
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 48: GPS/navigation system features used most often, by age, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                            • Frequency of use of GPS/navigation system features and household income
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 49: GPS/navigation system features used most often, by household income, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                            Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                            • Alliance Of Automobile Manufacturers, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                            • American Automobile Association (AAA)
                                                                                                                                                            • American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
                                                                                                                                                            • American Suzuki Motor Corporation
                                                                                                                                                            • Audi of America Inc
                                                                                                                                                            • Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG)
                                                                                                                                                            • BMW of North America, LLC
                                                                                                                                                            • Chrysler LLC
                                                                                                                                                            • Consumer Electronics Association
                                                                                                                                                            • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                            • Ferrari S.p.A.
                                                                                                                                                            • Flickr
                                                                                                                                                            • Ford Motor Company (USA)
                                                                                                                                                            • General Motors Corporation
                                                                                                                                                            • Greenfield Online
                                                                                                                                                            • Land Rover North America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                            • Mercedes-Benz USA
                                                                                                                                                            • Microsoft USA
                                                                                                                                                            • Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                            • MySpace.com
                                                                                                                                                            • National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA)
                                                                                                                                                            • Nissan North America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                            • Porsche Cars North America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                            • Research In Motion (USA)
                                                                                                                                                            • Saab Cars North America
                                                                                                                                                            • Subaru of America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                            • Toyota Motor Corporation USA
                                                                                                                                                            • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                            • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                                            • Volkswagen of America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                            • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                                                                                            GPS and Navigation - US - December 2009

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